Volkswagen Golf 2.0

GTD Estate

Volkswagen Golf Estate, front
Volkswagen Golf Estate, front
Volkswagen Golf Estate, front
Volkswagen Golf Estate, front
Volkswagen Golf Estate, rear
Volkswagen Golf Estate, rear
Volkswagen Golf Estate, rear
Volkswagen Golf Estate, interior
Volkswagen Golf Estate, boot

IT'S unlikely to have the neighbours' curtains twitching for a sneak view - but the Volkswagen Golf Estate is the archetypal family transport that puts practicality and sensibility at the top of the list.

A boxy shape, straight lines and an upright stance are the styling cues here.

But the GTD version has a little secret. Beneath the innocuous bonnet is a punchy 2.0-litre turbo diesel that pumps out a useful 181bhp - sufficient to put a smile on drivers more accustomed to warm hatches or sports saloons.

With lowered suspension, tweaked braking system and oodles of torque, the GTD puts back the fun in family motoring without penalising either economy of carrying capacity.

Despite being capable of despatching the 0-62mph sprint in an eager sub-eight seconds and topping out at 142mph, it will happily return a regular 50mpg on commuter runs.

The turbo diesel packs a generous 280lb/ft of torque which means mid range acceleration is of the thump-in-the-back variety.

Steering is direct and relatively high geared relaying decent road-feel back to the helm. With a relatively heavy front end, it doesn't feel quite as nimble as some petrol models, but there's a reassuringly solid feel about the Golf which holds its own appeal.

Engine noise is well suppressed - better in fact than other VW Group models that use the same unit. There's little need to use high revs because of the ample torque, which helps make it a particularly relaxing car on long journeys.

The six-speed DSG automatic gearbox fitted to the test car is the icing on the cake. Standard fitting is a six-speed manual gearbox.

The twin clutch system - an extra £1,400 - is fast and smooth with imperceptible changes. There's a slight penalty on economy and CO2 emissions but I reckon it is outweighed by ease of driving. If you want greater control, there's a set of paddles to play with on the steering wheel.

The cabin design of the Estate faithfully follows that of the Golf hatch - sensible, solid and smart. The GTD gets a few nice touches of flair such as the traditional tartan trimmed seats and leather-covered steering wheel.

When it comes to luggage space, it's up there with the best - only the cavernous Skoda Octavia estate beats it. With rear seats in place there's 605litres of cargo room.

Fold them down and this grows to 1,620 litres. Rear seat backs are split 60-40 and the boot floor is height adjustable with split portions to help contain any loose shopping.

The standard 18-inch alloy wheels play their part in giving the GTD good handling ability without impairing the ride quality. Larger 19-inch wheels are an option.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Golf 2.0 GTD Estate

Price: £29,405

Mechanical: 181bhp, 1,999cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 142mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 26

C02 emissions: 125g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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